Retirement homes not a relief for senior citizens anymore

Old age home, Senior citizen, Coimbatore, Charitable trust, Mistreatment
Senior citizens should be wary of private homes. Photo: iStock

Located on the foothills of the Western Ghats, Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu is a pensioner's paradise. It is the first city in the country to have a ‘retirement community’ set up way back in the late 1990s. Today it has numerous senior citizen homes run by private players.

There is a difference between ‘old age homes’ and ‘senior citizen homes’. While the former are run by the state governments and NGOs for destitute senior citizens, the latter are managed by private entities — mostly charity trusts or foundations — and take payment. Outright sale, lease and rental are the three kinds of models promoted by the realtors in this sector.

Retirees invest a large share of their emoluments in buying a house in a retirement village within a gated complex developed by real estate promoters. Each complex has around 50-60 houses. They share a common kitchen and have facilities like parking and walking ramps. "Cooking becomes additional work for many of the seniors like me so we share a common kitchen," says Ranganathan, a resident of a retirement home complex.

Many of these houses are amidst greenery, either owned or given for lease for a maximum period of 20 years. Some of these complexes have 24-hour medical facilities, live-in nurses and ambulances. But others do not.

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